Professor, SBME and Michael Smith Laboratories
Director, SBME


Research Theme:

Research Interests:

multi-scale modelling of complex biology; synthetic stem cells & regenerative medicine; synthetic niches to control stem cell fate; new therapies for blood diseases


Dr. Zandstra graduated with a B.Eng. degree from McGill University in Chemical Engineering, obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of British Columbia in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, and continued his research training as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Bioengineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In July 2017, Zandstra joined the University of British Columbia as the Founding Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering, and as the Director of the Michael Smith Laboratories. In these roles he is building programs that apply technological innovation to biology and help to educate the next generation of biotechnology leaders. In addition to his academic roles, Dr. Zandstra has been involved in founding a number of biotechnology companies, including ExCellThera and Notch Therapeutics. Dr. Zandstra’s research focuses on understanding how functional tissue forms from stem cells, and how this information can be applied to design of novel therapeutic technologies based on living cells. He has received significant recognition for his activities. He is the Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering (Tier 1) and is a recipient of a number of awards and fellowships including the Premiers Research Excellence Award (2002), the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2006), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2007), and the Till and McCulloch Award (2013). Dr. Zandstra is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Engineering), the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Most recently, in 2021 Dr. Zandstra was appointed to the Order of Canada for his significant contributions to stem cell bioengineering and regenerative medicine.